Better vigilance needed to prevent wildfires as intense heatwaves continue hinh anh 1A wildfire that occurs in the central Quang Trị Province in mid-May. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) — The ongoing intense heatwaves across the country are not only adversely affecting people’s health but also causing high risks of wildfires.

Multiple forest fires have been reported between mid-May and early June in various localities.

According to the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting (NCHMF), due to the influence of the El Nino phenomenon, there will be more intense heatwaves, with a higher number of sunny days than the previous years’ average, along with abnormal fluctuations. 

The combination of blazing heat and a lack of rainfall increases the risk of wildfires in many areas, leading to damage to forests, the environment, and affecting people’s health, properties and livelihoods. 

NCHMF director Mai Van Khiem said that starting from mid-June, the average temperature is expected to be higher than that of previous years by around 0.5-1 degrees Celsius.

Since the beginning of summer this year, forest protection forces have been on high alert, maintaining round-the-clock checkpoints, increasing patrols, conducting awareness campaigns, and implementing fire prevention and firefighting measures.

In order to enhance urgent measures for forest fire prevention, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had issued a directive on May 22, requiring localities to strengthen inspections and monitor of wildfire prevention and control. 

This is considered a top priority in which complacency, negligence, and lack of vigilance are strictly prohibited. 

The directive calls for the establishment of dedicated task forces and assigning patrols on standby around the clock throughout the dry season and hot days.

Authorities should also monitor, supervise and provide guidance on setting fires near and in forest areas, especially with people burning vegetation for cultivation. 

The PM also assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to lead forest fire prevention and control nationwide. In the case of forest fire, authorities must be present for firefighting management. 

In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises and the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) are also required to cooperate with localities to ensure the safety of the national electric grid./.